The 2019 Regular Legislative Session began on April 8th at noon. Several workers’ comp bills have been filed for this Session, which is a fiscal-only Session. Highlights include a bill that sets a 30 day deadline to appeal a decision of the Medical Director and a change in medical cannabis regulation.
Stick with Louisiana Comp Blog for full coverage of comp-related happenings until the Session ends on June 6th, 2018.
The summaries below are for the original versions of each piece of legislation. “Comp in the Capitol,” posted weekly, will address any changes as each measure moves through the process.
HB 285 – Billiot
- Provides medical benefits for volunteer reserve police officers and deputies who may become injured while the volunteer member is in the line of duty.
- Explicitly bars volunteer reserve police officers from recovering lost wages or treatment related from other jobs.
- Current status: Pending Senate Labor and Industrial Relations, heard in House Labor and Industrial Relations 4/25
HB 288 – Hollis
- Provides relative to the administration of large deductible policies and collateral.
- Provides that, to the extent a guaranty association pays any deductible claim for which the insurer would have been entitled to reimbursement from the insured, a guaranty association shall be entitled to the full amount of the reimbursement and available collateral.
- Proposed law requires the receiver to collect reimbursements owed for deductible claims, take all commercially reasonable actions to collect reimbursements, and promptly bill insureds for reimbursement of deductible claims.
- Current status: Pending Senate Insurance
HB 362 – Lyons
- Deletes the part of the workers’ compensation statute that requires compensable hearing loss to be due to a single traumatic incident.
- The bill further provides that members of the classified fire service be entitled to both medical and indemnity benefits related to hearing loss.
- Current status: Heard in House Labor and Industrial Relations, voluntarily deferred
HB 568 – Miller
- Changes “marijuana” to “cannabis” in the appropriate laws.
- Changes the regulatory authority for medical cannabis from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry to the Louisiana Department of Health.
- Current status: Pending House final passage
HB 571 – Seabaugh
- Provides for the reimbursement of metallic and plastic implants or non-autonomous graft.
- It requires the facility, hospital or ambulatory surgery center to order and pay for the implant or non-autogenous graft and upon receipt of the original manufacturer’s invoice, be reimbursed by the payor.
- Proposed law further provides that the reimbursed amount shall be at the manufacturer’s original invoice amount, exclusive of rebates and discounts, plus 20 percent. If the invoice amount is found to be excessive, that portion in excess shall not be reimbursed.
- Current status: Pending House final passage (scheduled 5/16/19), heard in House Labor 5/2)
SB 88 – Luneau
- Provides for a 30 day deadline to appeal a decision of the Medical Director.
- Current status: Pending House Labor and Industrial Relations
SB 107 – Gatti
- This bill adds PTSD to the list of compensable presumptions under workers comp for first responders (state police, emergency medical personnel, volunteer firefighters, sheriff and sheriff’s deputies).
- The presumption under this proposal may only be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.
- Current status: Pending House referral
SB 114 – Appel
- This bill would allow information about workers’ compensation benefits paid to an injured worker if that worker brings a civil suit regarding the same injury to be presented to a jury. Currently, such information is only presented to the judge.
- Current status: Pending Senate Judiciary A, considered 4/23